Cincinnati clips Ravens, 21-9

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

The Associated Press

BALTIMORE - It didn't take a brilliant mathematician to figure out why the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens.

Each team had three scoring drives Sunday. Cincinnati scored touchdowns; the Ravens settled for field goals. As a result, the Bengals remained in first place in the AFC North with a 21-9 victory.

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Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes and directed touchdown drives of 80, 31 and 91 yards for Cincinnati (7-2). Rudi Johnson ran for 97 yards and a score, Chad Johnson had five catches for 91 yards and the Bengals averaged 5.2 yards per offensive play.

Baltimore (2-6) got only 49 yards rushing from Jamal Lewis, averaged 4.1 yards per play and managed only three field goals by Matt Stover.

‘‘I can do the math. You can't trade sevens for three, plain and simple,'' Ravens coach Brian Billick said. ‘‘If you get an opportunity to score or stop them, you can't trade touchdowns for field goals, and that's what we did today.''

It all added up to a feel-good victory for the surprising Bengals.

‘‘I'm happy where we are at 7-2,'' Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said. ‘‘I don't think we had any major injuries today. When we come out of the bye, it looks like we should be at full strength.''

Cincinnati was nursing a 14-6 lead before Palmer capped the 91-yard drive with a 3-yard TD pass to Chris Henry with 6:05 to go. That was enough of a cushion to dispatch the Ravens, who haven't scored more than 19 points in any game this season.

Lewis averaged 3.3 yards per carry and Anthony Wright averaged just eight yards per completion for the Ravens. It was the first time in eight games against Cincinnati that Lewis failed to run for at least 100 yards.

‘‘We didn't make up any special recipes or do any witchcraft before the game,'' Bengals linebacker Brian Simmons said. ‘‘Guys just went out there and played team ball.''